Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowbound at Sara's

Yesterday I went to Sara's, my lovely daughter-in-law, to hang out. We thought we would do some baking but before we got started we had lunch, hung out with her boys, and had coffee. Soon after we got started the weather drastically changed and snow began to fall in big fat flakes. Well instead of stopping everything and rushing out to drive back home across town, we decided I would stay - even if it meant I had to stay the night, which is exactly what happened.

The cookies we chose to make are a wonderful butter cookie - "Chocolate Thumbprint" from Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share

So simple - butter, sugar, vanilla, maybe some salt and flour (check Martha's book for the recipe). Then half way through the baking process you pull them out of the oven to make a little thumbprint. Once they are out of the oven you fill the indentation with a bit of chocolate or some jam (Sara had some strawberry-kiwi made by a friend). But I think the real trick to our success were the cookie sheets with holes that Sara had (see pic). We covered the cookie sheets with parchment paper so the little butter cookies wouldn't brown too quickly. They came out of the oven after 20 minutes (total) soft and light. They literally melted in our mouths.

But alas most of the cookies where a gift for friends so Sara pulled out some of her "Holiday Treats stamp set from Papertrey Ink to make little gift tags. I cut some red card stock and into the clear plastic bags when our cookies for her friends. Ta-da - a sweet gift made on a cozy winter day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cry Baby Cookies

Merry Christmas!! My Christmas morning is usually very quiet so
I thought I would share a pic of the cookies I recently made and the recipe. This cookie was a favorite of my mother's - we would often come home from school to find a batch waiting for us. And Christmas time is so much about preparing things and foods for our family that I thought they would fit right into the season. Add to this the fact that they are a cakey ginger cookie and you've got a real nice Christmas cookie to have after dinner with a cup of coffee.

Cry Baby Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves giver, nutneg & salt

1 cup dark molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp soda

4 1/2 cups flour

1 lb box powered sugar & milk: mix to thickness you like and frost the cookies while they are warm

Add the shortening and sugar together. Mix until fluffy. Add eggs and continue to mix.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, spices, and salt together.
Add molasses to the shortening, sugar and egg mixture.
Add soda to the hot water
Add water to the shortening mixture.
Sift in the flour a little at a time.
Chill over night (very important if you want puffy, cake like cookies)

Spoon cookies onto a greased cookie sheet (or - and this is a 2010 modification to at 1960s recipe) - onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Frost while cooking on racks.